So here we go. July 4th 2017, a good day. I find some free time on my hands, so I do what everyone with free time does, I go take a hike. I’ve hiked this trail many times and like it for it’s closeness to the house and the quick loophike that it is. Half hour to drive there and a half hour to hike and a half hour home. Wyatt has hiked with me a couple of times and those times have been more of an hour hike and discovery walk as I see the forest at his level. “Take a child, see new things!” You can quote me on that!
I get to the parking area and several cars are parked all whichaway, the boiled peanut selling man is there and his wife has crafts scattered and hanging off of his mobile peanut, convenience store, craft hut on wheels contraption making himself a couple bucks. Ok, I accept that, he’s not in the way and has done this for years. The first pool of water has children playing in it, Norman Rockwell would be setting up his easel and putting paint to canvas. I hike to the top of these falls and more people, older adult looking people are standing in the way, one is smoking a cigar. Now, part of me being nice is – no comment – about the smoker. They quickly move aside and let the hiking looking man go past. Stepping across the creek without slipping and falling, I continue up the trail.
Today it slapped me in the face and jerked me up short! Paint on this old stone chimney. The Civilian Conservation Corps built his park way back in the late 1930s as a resting place for travelers. A covered picnic area was attached to this chimney. So why did someone have to do that? I’ve seen it before, it’s not new, today it just twerked my sensibilities. Stupid people? Taking the right hand split I find myself alone and enjoying the solitude amongst the canopy of branches. This is the longer way to the highest falls and a steady uphill climb, path is muddy, slick, and wet. I being careful, using trekking poles and watching foot placement, avoid slipping. The trail makes a turn to the left and starts descending crossing a small stream. A small falls is on the right but ahead of me and through the trees I see the top of the highest falls. I just have to stop and say, “You have got to be kidding me!” Smack me with a piece of wet broken pine branch! Three people are half way up the falls standing on wet rocks taking pictures of each other. You know what I mean, two have their back to the falls and get pictured, then they all gingerly change positions so the other can get pictured, then they do it again before clinging to unstable people and slowly moving down the steep NOT A PATH!!!! I wasn’t close enough to take the picture I wanted to take, of them next to the DANGER sign. You can see them through the trees. The signs have been installed because of the several deaths from people going off trail and climbing up the falls and slipping back down. A total of three signs are posted in this area. As I moved away two young girls came up the trail and started climbing up the falls, you can’t fix stupid!
I’m shaking my head and finishing the last leg of this hike when I see four persons huddled around a tree. It’s Mom, Dad, and two tweenage kids. Mom and Dad are carving their initials into the bark of this tree! The tree is right on the trail and they are in my way carving into a living tree. I’m determined to be nice. I say, “What are you doing?” He says, “Memories last a life time.” and I said, “Yes they do.” [ Just wonderin’ what kinda memory those kids would have, if i’d a stuck a trekking pole some place where the sun don’t shine ] Not Nice. I let it go and returned to my car. Had a good hike, interacted with stupid people.
Oh, for thinkin’ out loud!
Go home – spray paint the side of your house, do bad words!
Pick out your best front yard tree – carve into it, the whole families initials!
Next hard rain storm – get an old wooden ladder, lean it up beside your house, the whole family climb upon the roof and walk the ridge vent to the end and take turns taking pictures of each other standing on the wet slick shingles.
And stay out of the woods!
Please, just stay out of the woods!